As the others have stated, Adwords can be very effective, depending on the industry and the level of research that you've done.
We're working with a therapist currently, and here's some things we did;
- 25,000+ keywords - we performed competition research and gathered this list
- 12,768 keywords - this was the unique number of keywords across all 12 competitors
- 500 keywords - this is what we narrowed the initial list to, after removing irrelevant terms like "how to" "how much" etc
- 57 keywords - this is what we finally settled on
- 18 keywords - the number of focus keywords for SEO Content
- 16 ads - the number of unique ads created in his campaign
- 7 categories - the number of categories each keyword fell into
Each category has UNIQUE keywords to trigger the category, and each category has 3-5 ads (from the 16 that were made). Here's some categories for example; anxiety, depression, therapy, relationship, counseling
So, now that we have all our keywords, all our categories and our ads created, it's a matter of creating the campaign and setting budgets and target areas and devices.
In most cases, an adwords campaign can see a 1-3% clickthrough rate, so if you're spending $1 per click, you need $100-$300 just get get the person to your site - then you need them to convert.
By spending the time to do the keyword research, our current click rate is at just under 62% and the conversions on those clients are at 17%.
We call that a win, and so does the client!
Adwords work, if you do the research. You need to target your niche pretty deep, but if you're paying for each person to come to the site, you had better be very specific about who you're looking for. Don't just open your wallet and plug in a few words - you're going to loose your ass if you do that. Spending the money on research so that you're getting in front of the right clients is paramount!